Toshiba will “consider” a continued role in the development of the beleaguered Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria, so long as it can avoid any involvement in construction. The Japanese conglomerate said it will seek to sell off shares in the project “as planned from the beginning” as it reported its preliminary financial results for the third quarter of 2016. The fate of Moorside has been unclear since Toshiba announced earlier this year that it was reviewing its overseas nuclear activities in the midst of a financial meltdown. The group said it expected to take a write-down amounting “several billion” dollars relating to the acquisition of a US nuclear construction business by its subsidiary Westinghouse. Toshiba has now revealed the value of the impairment at ¥720 billion ($6.3 billion or £5 billion). Having completed the review of overseas nuclear operations, the company said it will seek to “exclude risk inherent on construction work and focus on equipment supply and engineering” in future.
Utility Week 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga has resigned, hours after the Japanese conglomerate revealed details of a multi-billion dollar loss. Earlier Toshiba had delayed issuing its results, but it then said it was set to report a net loss of 390bn yen ($3.4bn) in the year to March 2017. The company said it expected to take a 712.5 billion yen ($6.3bn, £5bn) writedown at its US nuclear business. The situation has led some analysts to warn the company’s future is at risk. The losses are linked to a deal done by its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, when it bought a nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron in 2015. In a statement, NuGen said: “NuGen acknowledges the announcement that Toshiba’s review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen’s Moorside Project.”
BBC 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Toshiba ‘still developing’ Moorside nuclear plant. Toshiba says it will continue to work on the development of a nuclear power station in Cumbria but will not be involved in its construction.Uncertainty shrouded Moorside, near Sellafield, as it was thought the corporation would withdraw from all nuclear operations outside Japan. However, it says it will retain its role in the initial phase of Moorside before looking to sell its stake. Speaking on Monday, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria, said it would be a “hammer blow” for the region if the firm cancelled its planned investment. Describing the nuclear industry as “the backbone of the local economy”, he added such a move would risk “hurting the livelihoods of thousands of people”.
BBC 14th Feb 2017 read more »
The huge uncertainties surrounding a proposed £15 billion nuclear plant at Moorside in Cumbria were laid bare yesterday as the financial crisis engulfing Toshiba, its lead developer, deepened. The Japanese conglomerate stopped short of announcing a complete withdrawal from the Nugen venture developing Moorside, as had been feared, but said that at most it would play only a limited future role. Toshiba may still supply its Westinghouse AP1000 reactors for use at Moorside, but confirmed it would look to sell down its 60 per cent financial stake in Nugen and ruled out undertaking any actual construction work. The industrial giant is battling to survive after being rocked by huge losses in its US nuclear construction business that led to Shigenori Shiga, its chairman, standing down yesterday. However, the comments underlined the vast scale of the challenge to be overcome if the Moorside project is to reach financial close in 2018 and be up and running by 2025 as planned – a timescale many in the industry already think is highly unrealistic. Toshiba’s comments that it will only “consider participating in the project”, however, combined with its deepening financial crisis, suggest it may well seek to offload its entire 60 per cent stake. Its position stands in stark contrast to its statement when its bought its Nugen stake in 2014, when the company said that it intended to “move forward with the construction of three AP1000 nuclear reactors on the Moorside site”. Toshiba yesterday said its rationale was to “avoid further cost overruns” and “resolve issues and accelerate construction”. After it found the costs and liabilities were far higher. It accused CB&I of overinflating the value of its assets and the two are now embroiled in a legal dispute. The case is yet to be resolved, with CB&I insisting the AP1000 reactor design is partly to blame. Yesterday Toshiba announced a writedown of the goodwill in the US nuclear business of ¥712.5 billion ($6.3 billion). It attributed $6.1 billion to cost overruns, due to increased labour and equipment costs. The debacle had already cast doubt over the AP1000 reactor technology. Now, it has thrown the entire future of Toshiba into question.
Times 15th Feb 2017 read more »
A key part of the UK’s energy strategy has been thrown into doubt after Toshiba said its financial troubles were likely to force it to abandon its leading role in a Cumbria nuclear power station intended to meet 8 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs. The troubled Japanese multinational, which made the announcement as part of a $6.3bn writedown in its Westinghouse US nuclear business, holds a 60 per cent stake in NuGen, the consortium responsible for the project at Moorside in Cumbria. Although Toshiba said it would still “consider participating” in the plant, the company added it would no longer take on any of the financial risk of construction and was looking to sell its NuGen stake to raise desperately-needed cash needed to stop the bleeding in its US nuclear division. The move by Toshiba means Moorside is only likely to go ahead if new investors can be found to build the plant that will house three AP1000 reactors supplied by Westinghouse.
FT 14th Feb 2017 read more »
The prospect of a new nuclear power station coming to the area had brought hope to the residents of Whitehaven in Cumbria, the nearest town to Toshiba’s proposed Moorside project. Now, with the news of the Japanese group’s intention to scale back its overseas plans, that hope has been replaced by fears that the promise of new jobs – plus accompanying investment in roads and railways – may not be kept. Nuclear is already the biggest local employer: the nearby Sellafield reprocessing site employs more than 10,000 people directly, and thousands more as contractors. Chris Jukes, senior organiser for the GMB union, said Moorside was vital as Sellafield’s workforce would soon be shrinking. By 2020 up to 3,000 jobs could be lost as the Thorp nuclear fuel facility closes and reprocessing of Magnox fuel ends – though the union wants those workers redeployed. Gillian Troughton, the Labour candidate, said the government needed to show leadership: “We need intervention by the government, step ping up to the mark and making sure for the sake of the country we get new power generation at Moorside and meet our commitment to climate change targets. We need the jobs and the country needs to keep the lights on. “We need public funding to bridge the gaps. [Labour] would do that and we need Theresa May’s government to do that.” Jack Lenox, the Green candidate, said there were no guarantees of jobs. The nuclear industry had made “empty promises” and had failed to invest in roads, railways and job creation schemes in the past. Trudy Harrison, the Conservative candidate, once worked at Sellafield and has an aunt, uncle and seven cousins working in the nuclear sector. She said that NuGen – the consortium leading the Moorside project – had assured her the plant would be built “with or without Toshiba”.
FT 14th Feb 2017 read more »
The UK’s plan to build Europe’s largest nuclear power plant risk being derailed after lead developer Toshiba admitted it would have to take billions of pounds’ worth of write downs in its nuclear business and said it would scale back its overseas ambitions. The consortium behind the plans to build a giant 3.8GW nuclear power plant in Moorside in Cumbria was forced to defend the future of the £10bn project after the Japanese conglomerate said it would scale back its work outside of Japan after booking a 712.5bn yen (£5bn) writedown in its nuclear power business. Toshiba is a 60pc shareholder in the NuGeneration consortium, which plans to develop the Moorside project alongside France’s Engie, formerly known as GDF Suez. The new plant is slated to use the AP1000 nuclear reactor, which is made by Toshiba’s US-based nuclear company Westinghouse. But in a shambolic financial reporting day the embattled company raised doubts over its long-term commitment to Moorside, saying it would “consider participating in the project without taking on any risk from carrying out actual construction work”. “As both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have made clear over recent weeks, building new nuclear capacity in west Cumbria is an integral part of the UK being able to replace old power stations, keeping a balanced mix as carbon emissions are reduced. This is a vital part of our country’s energy future,” said Tom Greatrex, the group’s chief executive.
Telegraph 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Unions are urging the government to take back control of its nuclear strategy after Toshiba’s deepening financial crisis cast fresh doubt about its involvement in the planned Moorside power station in Cumbria. Justin Bowden, GMB’s national secretary for energy, described the situation as a “fiasco” after Japan’s Toshiba, the lead party behind Moorside, revealed a $6.3bn writedown in its US Westinghouse business and confirmed it was scaling back investment in new overseas nuclear projects. Toshiba prompted confusion among investors on Tuesday by saying it was not ready to publish third-quarter results as scheduled, only to announce the write-down in its US nuclear business and resignation of its chairman, Shigenori Shiga, hours later. The company’s shares fell 8% in Tokyo. Bowden said the UK government had become too reliant on foreign companies for delivering its energy strategy.
Guardian 14th Feb 2017 read more »
NuGen acknowledges the announcement that Toshiba’s review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen’s Moorside Project. Moorside is at the core of the UK’s plans for providing safe, sustainable low-carbon electricity for generations to come and will be a transformational opportunity for West Cumbria. NuGen CEO, Tom Samson, said: “The project has made significant progress since Toshiba took over as major shareholder in 2014. The site has already been proven as suitable for three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, two phases of consultation have found the public overwhelmingly supportive of the need for new nuclear and have helped shape the plans for Moorside.
Nugeneration 14th Feb 2017 read more »
The extraordinary resignation of Toshiba’s chief executive over £5bn worth of losses in the nuclear power industry has thrown the future of a planned Toshiba built nuclear power plant in the Copeland constituency to the heart of next week’s knife edge by-election. An estimated 12,000 jobs in Copeland in Cumbria are dependent on the nuclear industry, with the Conservatives having made their commitment to nuclear a central part of their strategy in could be a truly historic victory of a governing party winning a seat from the opposition in a by-election. But Toshiba’s announcement that is scaling back and effectively ending its nuclear power business outside Japan has piled pressure on the government to step in and protect the plans for the Moorside Power plant, for construction has not yet begun and which is not yet scheduled for to come online until 2024.
Independent 14th Feb 2017 read more »
THE company building a new nuclear power station in Cumbria says partner Toshiba “remains committed” to the project despite the Japanese giant revealing huge financial losses.
Express 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Toshiba owns Westinghouse, which has a site at Springfields, near Preston, whose AP1000 nuclear reactors are to be used at a planned £10 billion power plant at Moorside in Cumbria. Greenpeace UK said any public spending should be on renewable energy schemes rather than nuclear. Kate Blagojevic, the charity’s head of energy, said: “As Toshiba announces multibillion-dollar losses this week, our Government is considering using public funding to kick-start the nuclear build at Moorside. “It could cost up to £4 billion of taxpayers’ money. This year’s school leavers could still be paying for the project as they approach their pension age. “The cost of renewables is falling, with offshore wind, storage and smart grid technologies all coming down in price.
Lancashire Post 14th Feb 2017 read more »
Paul Dorfman interview on Toshiba.
BBC World 14th Feb 2017 read more »